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Eat the frog first.

Fat Mum Slim /

I don’t know about you, but if someone was to ask me what my life was missing, I’d have one answer: balance. I’m hopeless at juggling things. If I give one thing attention, another thing suffers. Do you have balance in your life?

I’m all for any kind of therapy and I love to learn, so when I was recently asked if I wanted to chat to a life coach – I jumped at it. Why not? I’d just started working for myself, I needed to be inspired and the life coach fell into my lap. So on a Monday morning at 8am we hooked up for a phone call. Shannah Kennedy has been a professional life coach for many athletes and professionals and recently created a book to help those of us who want to live our best life.

Here’s what I learned:

1. Eat the frog first

Say what? Are we going to France? Eating frogs? Eek. This was my favourite piece of advice from Shannah. Eat the frog first. It means get the worst part of your day over first. I’d been doing it wrong. That thing that I least wanted to do, I left it til last. And then all day I stewed over it. So every day pick the hardest thing and do it first. So it could be a conversation you don’t want to really have, or cleaning the bathroom. Do it. Be done with it. And free yourself up for the rest of the day.

2. Make yourself number one

You are the most important person in your life. Did you know that? If you don’t have you, you’ve got nothing. I know this goes against everything we do each day, but Shannah says we should practice putting ourselves first. No one is going to say to you, “You look tired, do and have a nap.” So look after yourself and practice a little self-care.

3. Buy yourself a week to a page diary

Stationery lovers, you’ll love me for this. You have permission to buy yourself a new diary, just make sure it’s a week to a page. That way you can see your whole week in one snapshot. Put everything in it – exercise dates, time with friends, work, date night and everything from inside your head and onto the paper.

4. Get a daily golden moment

Over the phone Shannah explained her daily golden moment to me. Each night she creeps into her children’s beds, as the sleep, and places her face gently against theirs. In that moment she’s present and in the moment. It’s her golden moment. Pick something that you can be present doing that will give you a sense of achievement.

5. Don’t forget to breathe

Thankfully my body remembers to breathe on it’s own, otherwise I’d be in trouble. I know that when I’m in the height of something crazy and chaotic that concentrating on my breathing helps ground me. Shannah says it’s important to breathe and go back to your five senses when doing simple things, like washing your hands, going to the bathroom or putting on hand cream.

6. Use technology to structure your day

At 4pm everyday Shannah sets an alarm on her phone. It says, “What kind of mum do I want to be?” So just before she picks up her kids – she has a moment, pulls herself together {despite what day she’s had} and gives her kids the mum that she wants to be. She also uses her phone to remind her to drink water and that she doesn’t really need that muffin at 10am.

7. If you stuff up. Reset the next day.

This is where I come undone. If I’m trying a new structure and one thing gets out of whack, then I throw it out the window. And chaos ensues. The last thing we need is another thing to make us feel guilty or ‘bad’ because we’ve failed. Shannah says it’s about the 80/20 rule. Sometimes people get sick, plans change, or things don’t get done. Don’t fret. If things don’t happen, reset the next day and start again.

Shannah Kennedy has just released a new book called Simplify, Structure, Succeed. It’s a easy to read, coffee table style book with practical tools for living a modern life. Find out more here. I have one book to giveaway. To enter just leave a comment below and I’ll pick someone on Saturday.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photo pin cc

The winner of this competition is: Amanda Bayley